Hungary under lock and key
Following â" or possibly leading â" a recent trend within Europe, Hungary has proven to be a very conservative country when it comes to immigration policy, among other things. Like the United Statesâ current president, Hungary prime minister Viktor OrbÃ¡n proudly and loudly promotes his staunch anti-immigrant views, and in my limited experience here, many Hungarians happen to share those same views. Hungarians donât just agree with Trump â" many Iâve talked to have actually used the word âlove,â like heâs still just a shady reality TV show host that you are allowed to love ironically. But, strangely, itâs not ironic.
Many of my professors here have explained part of the phenomenon to the American students. Itâs hard to wrap my head around, but hereâs my best shot at explaining it: Hungary had been under the rule of empires and unions until the end of World War I â" the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Ottom an Empire, Third Reich and the Soviet Union. Not until recently did it have the power â" which is arguably no longer democratic â" to allow its own people to make decisions about how they are governed.
The many unfair and unsuccessful rules of aforementioned empires left an impression on the Hungarian people. Theyâre wary of outsiders, threatened by those who have taken and not given in the past. Because of this, they treasure their culture, their language and most importantly their history. Itâs what remains of their past, and it explains who they are today: a people attempting to stay safe. Thatâs whatâs lead to an unwillingness to let foreigners â" strangers â" join their wary population.
It gets more complicated, though. Hungaryâs free press is pretty limited. To what extent have the people chosen â" or given no choice in â" their political beliefs? Things seem pretty iffy there. Itâs most likely a combination of passed down generatio nal beliefs and a small scope of information that happens to confirm them.
Though this Hungarian version of an anti-immigration stance may appear skewed and seem unethical to me and my many progressive, liberal and left-aligned peers, itâs also a much more understandable stance to take after years of shouldering oppression.
What really baffles me is the American version of this approach: âDonât come here and take our jobs and resources!â Note the lack of a notion of self-defense. The primary motivation here is entitlement. Entitlement to a country based on the principles of refuge and acceptance that has neither faced conquerors nor been cut off from its own people and land â" except for when colonists stole from and massacred Native Americans â" the way the Hungarians have time after time. Where the status quo is and where it should be is currently being questioned, slowly and painfully.
Taking a look at Hungary has been a fascinating opportunity to look at the many social layers that obscure policy. Though Iâd come to terms with American conservatism in the wake of the 2016 presidential election, there is so much more to unpack than that. I look forward to spending more time and watching many of these issues unfold in after the European Unionâs recent admonishment of the nationâs undemocratic practices.Source: Google News Hungary | Netizen 24 Hungary